A lot of people buy these for emergency rations. But what do they taste like? Watch the video to find out here.
Reviews of equipment that would be of use to the shooter and prepper
Mask Your Preps
Our newest video on Prepper Base 1. We discuss the practical applications of the gas mask for preppers and cover some basics. Watch here.
A Good Knife Maker
The knife is the primary survival tool. If you find yourself in a survival situation and can only have one tool, it needs to be a knife. Why? Because you can make things with it. You can make a fire, make a shelter, make weapons. A good knife is essential.
There are a lot of independent knife makers in the country. One of them, Todd Schexnayder of Hahnville Louisiana is one of them. Todd and I are served on the Army Pistol Team together, and he does great work. I have attached pictures of some his work for your review. If you are interested in his work, he can be contacted at email@example.com. So if you like what you see, drop Todd a line.
You can see more of his work on his Facebook knife works page at https://www.facebook.com/tschexnayder2/media_set?set=a.756809087687266&type=3
Top Survival Guns Every Prepper Should Own
This a guest post from author Norman Bobby. His site can be located at https://gunandshooter.com/
When you look at the subject matter around preppers and firearms, you find some obvious pillars of importance. Preppers need continuity; reasonableness (which may not be a word) and efficacy.
In the grand scheme of things, that means more often than not, you go with tried and true firearms that are easy to maintain; built incredibly well and shoot a very popular caliber and that’s that.
In this article. We wanted to take a look at the market with a fresh set of eyes, not to overlook the obvious choices on purpose but to see if there are any additions that need to be considered by the prepper community in their quest for the perfect firearm.
A quick note: 15+ years ago, the author would not have included a 5.56 gun on this list, and instead opted for a .308 rifle either in bolt action or in semi auto, but with the proliferation of the 5.56 ammunition at low pricing; the obvious status of the AR clone as a mainstream firearm and the clear advantages of improvement in stopping power through understanding of ballistics and improvement in technology and engineering, that has changed.
It’s just not as ideal anymore to recommend a larger caliber weapon. When given the apocalyptic scenario most preppers envision as “worse case” can easily be handled by a more abundant, easier to handle caliber.
Remington 870 or substantially similar pump action shotgun in 12 gauge
Tough as nails; made to spec in the millions of volume; for decades; and relies on one of the most popular and readily available and inexpensive cartridges in the history of shooting. That is a pretty good place to start for the Remington 870. But that’s not all…it’s easy to handle; can be used for long-range hunting and can handle every game animal from birds to caribou if given the right ammunition; mindset and conditions.
The trick to succeeding in the Prepper market from a gun perspective is offering capability without compromise. You’d need to be judicious with your ammunition purchasing but it can be done without negatively affecting whatever type of animal you want to hunt.
It’s also a short-range winner and will stop any human threat.
The Remington was an arbitrary choice when looked at from a realistic perspective, but you could insert Mossberg 500/590 or Winchester or whoever you prefer there easily.
That also comes with some need for explanation: it wasn’t an ONLY arbitrary choice, choice. It was the best from a historical performance perspective that was still readily available to the public at good price points.
Remington 870 because of aftermarket support; historical performance and maintenance.
The workhorse of the modern Prepper’s gun stash, the 10-22 is accurate; proven historically, amazingly timeless in its aesthetic and build quality and inexpensive. It also shoots .22 LR cartridges which have been proven in awkward scenarios that they can be used for all manner of needs.
Hundreds of thousands of rounds have been shot through most of the available 10-22’s that span more than a single decade of use from a manufactured date perspective.
It’s cheap to outfit; everyone makes parts for them and the maintenance is best in class.
The high capacity, but still accurate platform makes it a must have in your home.
Having a Ruger 10-22 in your possession during a major event means your heavier firepower won’t have to be used and you will be optimizing bullet/cartridge usage during times of need.
You can reasonably take small game to over 100 yards with it; it’s unbelievably easy to maintain and it won’t stop working if you shoot too many rounds through it. Literally thousands of aftermarket parts exist for it; and everyone and their brother owns one. Besides, aren’t .22’s the best way to dispatch zombies anyway?
Kel-Tec PMR 30 (or their new .22LR variant)
This is a bit of an odd inclusion here, but the utility and overall novelty of the gun thus far pushes this into an unconventional list and makes you maybe wonder if the author has lost his mind.
The Magnum variant is concealable, offers great stopping power and hunting capabilities and is inexpensive relative to other market offerings that give substantially similar results.
It’s innovative and fun to use and despite having had some difficulties at launch it seems to have those problems ironed out now. The option to have a magnum 22 on your side or for small game hunting is fantastic, and yet, the rounds aren’t hard to come by in an emergency and it’s relatively easy to expect that a decent chunk of the population might have guns chambered in .22Mag and that you can scavenge ammo somewhere in dire situations.
You can also single shot .22 LR with the gun.
It’s probably a generation 5 Glock 19 too. As blasphemous as that may be to the seasoned prepper type, it just makes sense. Yes, you will not have the proliferation of parts on the market given many of them have changed in Gen 5, and you probably don’t get the benefits of the previous generation’s mag well designs, but you do get a gun that’s built nearly perfectly from a functional perspective and the good far outweighs the bad.
Rather than the 17, get the smaller framed variant which still takes nearly all Glock 9mm mags; shoots the ubiquitous and readily available 9mm Luger and can be handled by basically anyone from child to adult.
Proven reliable; durable; and made into the millions of copies this is a gun that won’t easily be outdone in your arsenal. It is also easy to maintain; inexpensive and accurate; reliable, and beloved by millions, so finding a part or service for the gun will be easy.
An AR15 clone
We aren’t going to waste time telling you about a specific AR clone. That’s boring and unnecessary, when it’s already likely you own one or you are contemplating ownership. It’s a foregone conclusion that it’s the most popular gun in America, and the very reasons it makes sense is that predictable boringness that comes from the AR 15 marketplace.
- Great caliber dynamics; readily available; cheap to shoot
- Modular; customizable easy to work on as an amateur
- Millions of parts floating around that bolt-on/drop-in
- Shoots accurately to 350 yards and can easily stop human targets as well as slay game animals up to about 400 lbs. if done right
If you call yourself a prepper and you don’t have an AR-15 yet, you’re probably behind the curve. Catch up.
A 308 rifle of some sort and a lever Action .45-70 of some type.
Both of these guns are not nearly as practical from an ongoing basis, but if you’re in the market for a group of prepper guns, these should probably occupy some time in your thought process if nothing else. Both offer moderate to intermediate shot stopping potential on targets that exceed the 350 lbs. range.
The rounds have been around for a very long time and you’ll be able to find them on the shelves of any sporting goods store, and 25% of American Gun owner’s closets.
They are understandable guns and built to endure heavy recoil and punishment over time, especially since they are both former U.S. Military calibers.
They aren’t ideal if you compare them to the above list, but they make sense of you want to cover the endpoints; or you’re looking for something else to spend your prepper gun dollars on. And by the way, stocking up ammunition and parts for these guns will run you a hefty premium, so those dollars would be spent quickly.
Buy guns that are easy to maintain and don’t suffer from ongoing problems; offer chamberings that are obvious and which can pull double duty as needed.
Luxury Camping with a Cabin Tent
This is a guest post by Tadej Kozar. His website can be found at https://campingtentlovers.com . Although geared for the recreational camper, it has some good information for survival for groups.
Today we will talk about a type of tent that is a perfect shelter for a group of people or families. Cabin tents are one of the most popular large tents available on the market. These tents have walls so it is easy to move inside the tent and also do activities without bending.
If you want to have enough space on a camping trip you should read on to see how this type of tent can change your way of camping. You can also set it on your backyard and invite some friends to have a backyard party around the grill.
Let’s see how a cabin tent can help you to have a pleasant outdoor experience.
I will cover some features of a mentioned tent which you should know about before buying it.
Cabin tents are known for its large space and several rooms. In general, tents have just one room where you sleep. However, cabin tents are made for families who need more space and privacy. Think about going camping with the kids. I am sure you would love to have some privacy and your kids as well (especially if you have teenagers).
Tents that look like a cabin can also have more than one door for an easy entrance and exit.
You can pick a tent regarding the numbers of occupants. For example, if you have a 4 member family then you can pick a cabin tent for 4 campers. These types of tents can occupy from four to twelve people or more so choose the one that will have enough space for all of you.
Still, I recommend that you don’t limit yourself with an exact number of campers. A four-member family should pick a five or six-person tent as there is never enough space.
Heavier than other tents
These spacious tents are heavier than hiking or backpacking tents due to its largeness and a number of tent poles. So this is a shelter that isn’t appropriate for one-night camping or if you want to go outdoors on foot.
However, they are perfect for going in nature with a car or some other transportation vehicle.
Setting it up
These tents are not as easy to pitch as pop up tents of course. Setting up a cabin tent takes time and it is the best that you involve other campers to help you with this task. I recommend that you pitch the tent at home before going to the wild. This way you will be sure that there are no missing pieces and will be confident to have a shelter when you come to the campsite.
On which season are you going to camp? It is important to know if your tent is a 3-season or 4-season tent. A cabin tent is luxurious and feels like a home in the wild but still, you should pick the one that is appropriate for a camping season.
Camping in the spring, summer, and autumn isn’t so demanding as the weather is milder than in winter. In this case, you could look for a tent that is a 3-season tent. A 4-season cabin tent is a little bit different as it should have a higher hydrostatic head, is waterproof and water-resistant.
An all-year tent is heavier as it should withstand the heavy rain, snow, and strong winds. If you decide to go outdoors in winter don’t compromise on a tent’s price and get a 4-season shelter.
Tents with a cabin style have large windows in general. This is another great feature that reminds us of home. Large windows will give you enough light through the day and an opportunity to watch the animals. When you want to have more shade, you can close them as they have this ability.
A tent with screen porch
Cabin tents are made for a camping experience so campers can feel like at home. With this in mind, tent manufacturers make cabin tents with a screen porch. A porch is a wonderful feature to have as it will enable you to have a meal with your loved ones and enjoy watching nature. Get a folding table and chairs and place them here to enjoy throughout the day.
You can open the mesh of the porch or close it at evenings when mosquitos come along. It can be used for storing your camping equipment or personal items as well. This way you will have enough space inside the tent for sleeping and resting.
A Cabin Tent – Your Luxurious Outdoor Home
Dear camper, I am sure that on this point you have enough knowledge to know if this type of tent is what you are looking for. Cabin tents are large tents that are best to use for families or a group of people who won’t move a lot.
Think about tent’s features and how your camping trip will look like. If you want to have a long and relaxing vacation in nature with your friends, family or other campers, you should give a cabin tent a try.
For a large selection of tents for more that two people at great prices, check out Amazon here
Schrade SCHKM1 Machete
Like most preppers, I am constantly re evaluating my gear. And you should too. Situations and needs change. I still live on the edge of Phoenix in the Sonoran Desert. And up to now, my basic brush blade has been my Nepalese Kukri. But some of my plans have changed, and I decided I needed a full bladed machete. I have always like the Kukri blade design. This type of blade was believed to have been first used by the ancient Greeks as a cavalry sword called a Kopis, itself derived from an agricultural tool. It it is also suspected that this design was introduced into Nepal during Alexander the Great’s invasion of India. Whether it was or not, this is an outstanding blade design. I decided to go with it when selecting a full blade machete.
It is important to understand the proper role of the machete. It does not replace a good ax or hatchet for chopping thick wood. It is designed to clear brush, cut smaller items of wood, and is useful as a close combat weapon.
I studied the reviews of the various models in this design and settled on the Schrade SCHKM1. I am glad I did. The blade is full tang and constructed of 3cr13 steel. This was a good choice because it has a good hardness but is soft enough to withstand constant high impact use. The blade came nice and sharp. The Kukri design allows for powerful chopping strokes. It has a blade length of 13.3 inches (33.8 cm) and a weight of 1 lb 6.6 ounces, and the blade is 1/8 inch thick. It is full tang. The holes in the blade are to lighten it and serve no real functional purpose unless you want to imitate the main character in “The Book of Eli”. I haven’t had the chance to put it through hard paces yet, but did trim some branches off a Palo Verde tree that was blown over in a recent monsoon storm. I like the balance and heft. The blade is thick powder coated and the handle is what Schrade calls their safe-t grip. It is rubberized and non slip. The handle has a front quillon which is extremely ergonomic and safe.
The scabbard is in itself well designed. Double stitched and designed to be worn on your belt with leg straps, slung over your back, or attached to your ruck. It also comes with a quality sharpening tool in a detachable pouch as well as a ferro rod fire starter.
If you are looking for a lightweight, well designed machete of the Kukri design, this would be a good selection. Available from Amazon.
Survival Hax Ferro Rod Fire Starter
It is a common prepper mantra that redundancy is critical. Try not to ever rely on only one method to accomplish the critical. Fire making is a critical survival skill, and you should always have at least three methods on hand to start a fire.
A ferro rod should be in your survival kit along with other options such as lighters or matches. There are a lot of them out there. Sometimes you get them free as part of another item or set. Sometimes they are individually free-standing. But they are everywhere in various sizes and grades of efficiency. When Survival Hax asked if I would like to review theirs, I said sure. They import a number of reasonably priced but quality made survival item, and I have reviewed a number of their items before, all with good results. But I was wondering what could make a ferro rod fire starter worth $20.00. When the package arrived and I opened it, I found out.
This thing is BIG! The ferro rod is six inches long. In seriously cold weather, with most ferro rod fire starters you would need to take your gloves off to properly manipulate them because of their size. Not this rod. It is big enough that you should be able to manipulate it in extremely cold weather with mittens on. THAT is what makes a ferro rod fire starter worth $20.00.
In addition to the large size of the rod, it comes with an excellently designed striker, which has a serrated half-moon striking surface. It is long enough to get good leverage and create a good shower of sparks. It also functions as a bottle opener and hex wrench.
Attached to it is a small waterproof capsule with cotton tinder inside. Although a bit small, it suffices for the intended job. Especially with the amount of sparks you can generate on the large rod. Personally, I keep cotton ball impregnated with Vaseline in old medicine plastic cases for my tender. Holding the whole set together is a large roll of 550 cord, which has a small whistle on the end.
This is an outstanding fire starter. The size allows you to use it effectively even with thick gloves on, and it is of high quality. If you are only going to have one ferro rod fire starter, this one should be it!
Available at Survival Hax or Amazon
Survival Hax Roadside Emergency Kit Review
Many preppers spend much time and money preparing for extreme problems such as SHTF or even TEOTWAWKI. They sometimes forget that prepping is as much involved in day-to-day survival as the extreme catastrophes. Most of us spend a considerable amount of time in our autos, but many people fail to have a proper emergency kit in them. Survival Hax makes a good basic roadside emergency kit to get you started.
When I received my example from Survival Hax, I opened it up and laid out the contents. Here is what comes in it.
- Bungee Cords x 3
- Jumper Cables x 1
- Cable Ties x 15
- PVC Tape x 1
- Flashlight x 1
- Fire Starter Flint x 1
- Long Candle x 1
- Gloves with grippers x 1
- 9 in 1 Multitool x 1
- Tire Pressure Guage x 1
- Reflective Safety Vest x 1
- Light Sticks x 2
- 8″ Crescent Wrench x 1
- 9 Foot Tow Rope x 1
- Reflective Warning Triangle x 1
- Rain Poncho x 1
- Glassbreaker / Seatbelt Cutter Tool x 1
- Emergency Whistle x 1
It also comes with a first aid kit which I will cover shortly.
The bag it comes in has reflective tape and closes with a velcro handle. It also has room to add more items which I will cover shortly. The reflective safety vest and rain poncho are pretty basic. They will do the job, probably more than once, but were not meant for sustained use. They will help keep you safe fixing a flat on the side of the road. The warning triangle is a good item. It gives oncoming traffic warning that they are coming up on a stalled vehicle and to drive accordingly. It is especially good if you are just around a curve, and you put it out a bit back from the curve. The glassbreaker/seatbelt cutter seems adequate for the job, but this item should be kept up in the driver compartment with you. It will help you escape your car if your seatbelt or window are stuck. But only if you have it with you. The flashlight is a battery free squeeze generator type and would help you to deal with emergencies at night, as well as the light sticks. The 8″ crescent wrench seems to be basically functional and well made, but I haven’t actually tested it. The bungee cords and twist ties would have a number of functional uses. The jumper cables are pretty light duty but similar to what you would buy at Wall Mart. The whistle, fire starter, and emergency candle would be useful if you were stranded somewhere for a while, but you would really need a lot more in an emergency survival kit. Tire pressure gauge and whistle are self-explanatory. The roll of electrical tape would have many uses. The tow strap looks good enough to perhaps tow a mid-sized vehicle on a paved road, but it is not a heavy-duty strap
The one item that I was particularly impressed with is the multi tool. This is a very well made item. The handle is slightly rounded, and stainless steel. The blade could use a good sharpening, but that is an easy fix. Really a good little tool. Finally, the gloves are interesting with their rubber grip buds. They will do fine to keep your hands clean while changing a tire.
The First Aid Kit
I treated this separately because I think a first aid kit for an auto is an essential item. Here is the packing list for the kit.
- Gauze Pads x 4
- Band-Aids x 20
- Alcohol Prep Pad x 6
- Tourniquet x 1
- Antiseptic Wipes x 4
- Scissors x 1
- First-Aid Tape x 1
- Metal Tweezers x 1
- Mylar Blanket x 1
- Elastic Bandage (small) x 1
- Elastic Bandage (large) x 1
- PVC Gloves x 1
As you can see from the contents, this is a pretty basic kit for minor injuries. I recommend that you upgrade it with some serious bandages such as the Israeli combat bandage. If you are on medication, you should add at least two days to a week’s worth and rotate them out regularly. A better tourniquet would also be recommended.
As for additional items to add to the kit , I would recommend a basic tool kit.
Keep in mind that pre made kits like this have items that are meant to get you through an individual emergency, and not necessarily to hang through a year of SHTF or TEOTWAWKI.
This kit normally retails for $49.95, but If you buy this kit on Amazon here, you can get a $25.00 discount using the promo code OFROAD50 at checkout.
I think that this is an excellent starter kit for someone who has no emergency roadside kit set up. It has a lot of the basics you would need for safety, and you can add additional items to suit your individual needs. Using the promo code this kit will only cost you $25.00 which is a lot less than buying the items individually. I think it is a good buy for the price.
Survival Water Filter by Survival Hax
Drinkable water is going to be on the top of the survival priority list in any situation. Whether you are stranded on the road for three days, evading a natural disaster for three weeks, or dealing with TEOTWAWKI for the next three decades, without having enough clean drinking water to stay alive, all of your other preps will not matter. There are a number of ways to treat water to make it drinkable. Having a personal water filter is one of those ways, and has a number of tactical advantages. They are light weight, and inexpensive so each person in your group can have and carry at least two. I see these as reserve items. You should have as much stored water as possible at your main location, as well as larger family sized filters. But these are useful especially if you are on the go and bugging out on foot. Water weighs a lot, and you won’t be able to carry a lot with you. Boiling takes time, requires you stay in one place long enough to do it, and requires fuel. The advantage to portable personal water filters is that you can drink on the go, as you find water.
Survival Hax is a company that imports a line of inexpensive but well made survival items. I have written about their survival shovel, as well as their EDC keychain
According to the manufacturer, this water filter has the following characteristics:
- Filter up to 400 gallons (1,500 liters) of drinkable water with one straw. (30% more efficient than standard portable filters.)
- Advanced filter purifies at .1 microns and removes 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites.
- Chemical Free technology for healthy water intake.
- Lightweight and easy to store (3oz, 7.5in long, 1in diameter). Perfect for Bug Out Bags.
There are a number of portable water filters on the market, and honestly, all about equally as good. The particular filter has a number of add ons, including a small compass, small mirror, and the end cap is a whistle. Cute, but to me, probably not that all useful. A well-built carabiner allows it to be attached easily on the outside of your gear if you want. But it DOES have a couple features that I consider very useful. If you look at the picture above of the woman drinking, notice how close down to the water she has to get. This filter comes with a length of surgical tubing which will fit on the end to allow you more stand-off from the water. This allows you to keep your head up higher and to be able to look around while drinking, enhancing your security. The tubing could also be used as an emergency tourniquet.
But the one feature that really stands out for me on this particular filter, is that the end cap is threaded so that you can screw on a standard 28mm plastic water bottle. This has a number of advantages. Water locations can be dangerous places in a serious situation, attracting all kinds of two and four-legged critters. With a couple spare empty bottles, you can fill them up quickly and move on to drink the water away from the water source. I see this as a definite advantage. You can get one from Survival Hax or from Amazon Prime
Survival Hax 10 in 1 EDC Keychain
EDC (Every Day Carry) are those items you want on you (or within immediate reach) at all times. Each person’s EDC kit will be different and will be based to a large degree on personal preference, and to some degree on your usual location.
When SurvivalHax.com sent me their 10 in 1 EDC keychain for review, I was pretty interested. This is basically a mini-fishing kit with fire starter stored in a waterproof aluminum case attached to 4 feet of braided Para cord with a whistle attached to a small carabiner.
The aluminum container holds :
3 Fishing lines 2 x Hooks 2 x Weights 2 x Floaters 2 x Sinkers 2 x Swivels 1 Knife 1 Tinder cotton 1 Ferrocerium rod 2 Safety Pins and 1 cable saw
The first thing I tested was the whistle. Although not police quality, it got the immediate attention of both the wife and the cat, each vying to give me the meanest scowl. It is certainly loud enough for signaling purposes. The carabiner is of lightweight metal but seems to be of good quality. Although I did not unbraid the paracord, it also looks to be well made.
The small finger knife has a sharp edge and a saw edge. The sharp edge wasn’t that sharp, but a few swipes on a sharpener solved that, and it will now cut the fishing line if needed, and I am confident I could gut a fish with it. The main use of the knife is as a striker for the Ferrocerium rod. Holding it by the ring end and striking it like a match down the rod produces a goodly ammount of sparks, certainly enough to start a fire with proper tinder. I didn’t try the small cotton tinder roll, as I am soaking it in Vaseline and placing it in a small plastic pill bag.
Living in the Sonoran Desert I am not real close to a handy stream to try the fishing gear, but it is certainly adequately made. The hooks, floats and weight seem to be of good quality.The small wire saw is sufficient to cut a small pole for a fishing rod, but I doubt it would hold up to hard continuous use. But then again, it wasn’t designed to. This is an EDC kit to get you home to your main gear.
The aluminum case is indeed waterproof with a thin rubber gasket between the two parts. I tend to adapt my gear. I recently did an article on the SurvivalHax.com nifty little Survival Shovel. Both handels are hollow, and I filled one with cotton balls wrapped in a plastic bag to use with the fire starter. I am going to take the fishing components on the 10 in 1, wrap them in a plastic bag, and place them in the second hollow handle. The shovel is attached to my get home bag I keep in the back of my Jeep. As I require certain medication, I am going to fill the waterproof metal case with one weeks worth of medication and attach it also to the get home bag.
All in all, this is a pretty nifty little set up for the price. The items are well made. You can use it as intended as an EDC keychain, or divvy up the components as I did. Available from SurvivalHax.com or on Amazon.
Valley Food Storage Dehydrated Peanut Powder.
For those wishing to stockpile foods for long-term storage, there are a number of options. There are many companies that specialize in dehydrated foods, and the best advice you can get is to decide what you are going to need, and sample a variety from different companies. And there are a large choice of food types and menus.
Valley Food Storage is one of the major players in the industry. I tested their white bean and lime chili and found it really good. So when I was given another choice of item to test, I decided on the peanut powder. My main interest is in lightweight and easily stored items that would be functional and nutritional either bugging in or out. Peanut butter is a popular staple with survivalists for a number of reasons which I described here where I wrote about the real deal.
Peanut powder is made by compressing peanuts to remove the oil and fats, and then grinding them into powder. This provides a lightweight substitute for the much heavier actual peanut butter. So how does it stack up against the real thing on the two issues I see as most important: Nutrition and taste.
The table below is the label off the Valley Food Storage package. One serving consists of two tablespoons. One serving will contain 7g of protein, 70 calories, and 4g of total fat.
This is the label off of a regular jar of Jif creamy peanut butter. It also has 7 g of protein, but has 180 calories, and 16 grams of total fat
The peanut powder has and equal amount of protein, but a lot fewer calories, fat and sodium. But you are also talking a lot less weight for the amount of protein.
Easy to mix, it is 1 for 1 water and powder. I mixed two tablespoons of powder with two tablespoons of water. It mixed easily and rapidly. It wasn’t as thick as regular peanut butter. It tasted good, but needs a bit of sugar for my taste. Easily done in the field with small sugar packets. It is advertised as good to mix in things like yogurt or cereal, or juice. OK in a bug in situation, but maybe not so practical on the move. It would make a lightweight protein additive for such things as crackers, etc. It would also lighten up the blandness of survival food.
Lightweight and tasty protein supplement for a survival situation, but it has the same water dependent drawback that all dehydrated food stuffs have. I have placed one bag in my food stash and will let the wife enjoy the other in her breakfast yogurt.
Available from Valley Food Storage
Survival Hax Survival Shovel
One of the fun things about doing a survival blog is that manufacturers and dealers will often send you one of their items to test. I have some definite policies on this. I do not accept money for the review. I get to keep the item. And I will only write an honest evaluation. When Sara of SurvivalHax offered to send me one of their survival shovels I was glad to test it.
Before I discuss the shovel, let’s define what a survival shovel is. For my purposes, it should be lightweight and small enough to fit in a bug out bag. It should be sturdy enough to perform some basic functions. These would include digging a cat hole, digging a fire pit, digging a water run off trench around your shelter, driving tent stakes, and shoveling snow or sand from around a stuck vehicle tires. If you are planning on doing more heavy-duty digging, then you will need a larger tool. The SurvivalHax survival shovel will perform it’s intended functions very well.
This little shovel is basic military style with a folding spade and pick. This design was initiated by the Germans in WW2 and quickly copied by the United States and many other countries. The shovel has a two piece hollow handle which screws together and the end cap unscrews and has a ferro rod fire starter. Both handles are hollow. It also comes with a carrying case, as well as a lifetime warranty. When the shovel is unfolded it is 24 inches (2 feet) long. Its collapsible size is 8.6 x 8.2 inches. The head of the shovel is made out of manganese steel with a rigidity rating of 42-46. The handle is made out of steel as well, while the orange adjustment nut is aluminum alloy. It weighs in at about 2 pounds.
The blade is serrated on one side like many other shovels of this size. And like most of it’s counterparts, the serrated edges as well as the blade edge need to be sharpened with a file. This is not a criticism. A few minutes with a file and the serrations and flat edge are nice and sharp. Again, most shovels of this type need to be sharpened. The three rivets that hold the blade to the mount seem solid. At 2 lbs. weight, it is solid enough to pound tent stakes in soft to moderately hard soil. I took the shovel out back and used both the pick and the blade to dig around a bit. The soil here is gravely on top, sandy under. Both the pick and blade worked well and the locking nut stayed tight. There were no dings or bends to the blade.
The handle is a two piece hollow affair that screws together. The threads for both the handle and the end cap are cut clean and screw together with no problems. I recommend lubricating the threads lightly. The black finish is smooth, actually slick. I solved this problem by wrapping the handle in paracord.
This not only adds no real weight, but gives a more solid grip on the handle as well as providing additional paracord for my kit. As the end cap is a ferro rod fire starter, I decided to use the hollow space to enhance fire making capability. I took 5 Vaseline impregnated cotton balls and wrapped them in a plastic bag. I attached a piece of paracord to one end and a military p-38 can opener to the other. It works like a pull through with the p-38 being the weight that allows the sack to be pulled into or out of the tube. In addition, I have found a p-38 to be an excellent striker to use on a rod. I tested it on the rod that came with the shovel and got good sparks. I haven’t decided what to use the space in the upper handle for yet. Perhaps kindling.
The carrying case is adequate to store the two pieces nicely in a rucksack, but only has one belt loop and would probably not be too durable for long-term wear on a belt. If you wish to carry it that way, a very inexpensive military surplus e-tool holder can easily be found.
The SurvivalHax Survival Shovel is a well made, lightweight shovel of a proven design that is small enough to fit in a bug out bag, or under a vehicle seat and comes with a lifetime warranty. The hollow handles give you the option of storing additional items of your choice, which most other shovels of this type do not have. Mine is now in my get home bag in my jeep. Available on Amazon or SurvivalHax
The Gerber Suspension Multi Tool
I have used a lot of multi tools over the years and still have a few of them. For the last few months I have been using one by Gerber called the Suspension.
The Gerber Downrange Tomahawk
I have been a fan of Gerber products since my family sent me one of their MKII fighting knives while I served with the 101st ABN. Div. in Vietnam. And I have used a lot of their products since. So when I stared hearing about their Downrange Tomahawk, I decided to look into it.
SnugPak Softie 3 Merlin Sleeping Bag
Every one should have a bug out bag packed and prepared to go with at least three days necessities. Since sleeping is definitely a necessity in a stressful situation, it requires careful planning in the selection of gear. Weight in a bug out bag is a serious consideration. Sleeping gear can become a large portion of that weight. The SnugPak Softie 3 Merlin is a potential answer to the problem.
Maglite Tactical Flashlights
A flashlight is a flashlight is a flashlight. Well, maybe…….
Recon Tanto: Cold Steel’s Excellent Fighting/Survival Knife
I have been an armed professional for over 40 years now, and quality knives have always been an important part of my personal kit. I have carried a wide variety over the years. The last one I carried in the Army and still carry is Cold Steel’s Recon Tanto.
Buying a Bug Out Bag
So now you have accumulated the necessary items to put a bug out bag (BOB) together and you need something to put it all in. Based on the premise that you may end up being foot mobile in a bug out situation, a rucksack is called for.
Condor Rip Away IFAK Pouch
A good IFAK choice. An Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) is an essential piece of preparation gear.
The Safepacker Pistol Holster
The last few years have seen a tremendous increase in the number of law abiding citizens opting to get concealed weapon permits (CCW) to go about armed for self protection. There has also been a corresponding increase of unique ways to carry concealed.